Effectively Promoting Yourself During the Job Search Process

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Editor’s Note:  The Coffee House Mentor is a series of 10 topics that discuss all aspects of the job search process.  This week’s blog is on promoting yourself during the job search process and is the fifth article in the series.

During the last mentoring meeting, the group discussed how to effectively target the job they really wanted.  It provided them with the contents of three worksheets that helped them to become organized in their job search.  It also helped them to know exactly what businesses, colleges, or organizations they want to work for.  Once you know where you want to work, you will then want to begin to promote yourself to those organizations.  Therefore, this week’s mentoring session is designed to show each mentee how to properly and effectively promote themselves so they can secure a job interview at one of the organizations they are targeting.

Brian Graham, the mentee who had worked with designing and managing websites, has brought with him a copy of his latest resume and cover letter.  He wants the group to analyze his materials and provide him with feedback.  Knowing that promoting themselves for a specific job was the topic for the week, Cece was also prepared to discuss her findings for how people should properly promote themselves for a job opening.

Brian began the session by passing his resume and cover letter to each member of the group and asked them to review his documents.  Four or five minutes later he asked the group for their opinion.  Rob was the first to respond.  “I like how your resume is simple, clear and easy to read.”  “These are the key elements to writing an effective resume or vita.”  “You know, most employers will only spend between 15-20 seconds reviewing a resume.  Your resume must convey to the hiring manager or the search committee how you meet the qualifications for the position.”  The group would go on to discuss the composition of the resume, the type of paper it should be printed on, and various strategies on style, appearance and format.

As the conversation began to slow down, Lizzie wanted to discuss Brian’s cover letter.  Lizzie was surprised at how simple it was and how it really did a great job of selling him.  Brian responded by sharing that the cover letter, like your resume, should be viewed as a marketing tool.  Its purpose is to sell you, provide insight into you as a person, and show why you are a good fit for the position.  The group continued to discuss the proper formatting of the cover letter and how the letter needs to be individually tailored to each position you apply for.

Rob continued on by discussing the last two major promotional pieces people should prepare for themselves.  This includes a personal sales pitch and a list of your references.  Both of these elements seemed pretty straightforward. But as the group began to discuss these promotional tools in greater detail, they uncovered why strategy is extremely important when deciding who to list as references.  They also discussed the three sections of a quality sales pitch.

This week’s mentoring session ran long as the group had a lively and detailed discussion about one of the most important parts of the job search process – promoting yourself.  The take-away they came to understand was that there are four main elements used to promote themselves: (a) their resume, (b) their cover letter, (c) having the proper references, and (d) having a sales pitch that is organized and really sells you.

For more information about the job search process, please contact Howard Gauthier at howard@sportscareersinstitute.com or go to our website at www.SportsCareersInstitute.com.  Remember, ultimately the job will go to the candidate who is prepared and who effectively executes the basics of the job interview process.  In all you do, you will want to EXECUTE FOR SUCCESS!  

Howard Gauthier is an Associate Professor of Athletic Administration at Idaho State University.  He is a former collegiate athletic director and collegiate basketball coach.  He is also an author of 9 books.  Check out his latest book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at www.SportsCareersInstitute.com.  Howard’s new book, entitled “Execute for Success”, will be released on October 1, 2013.

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13 thoughts on “Effectively Promoting Yourself During the Job Search Process

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  4. It’s exciting that Brian has a good cover letter and resume to promote himself. What about it stands out? How did Brian effectively promote himself that the reader can take away and implement themselves? Rather than a recap of the conversation, why not offer some tangible advice to those interested?

    • Hi Scott,

      You’re absolutely right with your question, “What about it (the cover letter) stands out?” My hope in writing this week’s blog was to show the reader that there are four main ways to promote yourself for a job – a cover letter, a resume, your sales pitch, and your references. I try to keep the blog relatively short (600 – 700 words) so people will read the blog. In all four of these promotional techniques, there are multiple strategies and formulas a person should use to creating these promotional materials. We have previously published blogs that provide more detail into how to write each of these promotional items, and if a person wants even more detail and strategies I would recommend that they get a copy of our book “Getting Hired in College Sports”. The book is very detailed and most readers have raved about the content. I hope this helps to explain why this blog was written the way it was. Thank you for reading our blog.

      Howard

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